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Crime & Mystery & Film Noir & Thrillers: Articles


Dana Andrews Movies: Excellent Film Noir Actor Portrayed Angst-Ridden Characters

Dana Andrews movies: Film noir actor excelled in both major and minor crime dramas. Dana Andrews movies: First-rate film noir actor excelled in both classics & minor fare One of the best-looking and most underrated actors of the studio era, Dana Andrews was a first-rate film noir/crime thriller star. Oftentimes dismissed as no more than a “dependable” or “reliable” leading man, in truth Andrews brought to life complex characters that never quite fit into the mold of Hollywood's standardized heroes – or rather, antiheroes. Unlike the cynical, tough-talking, and (albeit at times self-delusionally) self-confident characters played by the likes of Alan Ladd, Edward G. Robinson, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, and, however lazily, Robert Mitchum, Andrews created portrayals of tortured men […]


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Dana Andrews Movies: Excellent Film Noir Actor Portrayed Angst-Ridden Characters



Swampland Race Relations: Old Indie Mixes 'Interracial' Love + Vengeance & Voodoo

Swampland race relations in 'Chloe, Love Is Calling You': Desired by two handsome white men, is Olive Borden black or white? Swampland race relations: Bizarre 'Chloe Love Is Calling You' mixes reactionary ideas & voodoo Whenever I watch a film such as the swampland-set 1934 thriller Chloe, Love Is Calling You (a.k.a. Chloe), I like to think about the reactions of the theater audience when it was first shown. Since Marshall Neilan's movie covers subjects such as race, miscegenation, voodoo, murder, and mayhem, I can imagine some volatile reactions. But then again, this little-known thriller of the occult genre has been rarely seen, even in the post-home video days. The first thing about it that got my attention was the […]


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Swampland Race Relations: Old Indie Mixes 'Interracial' Love + Vengeance & Voodoo



'Rebecca' 1940: Alfred Hitchcock Oscar Winner Returns to Brazilian Screens

'Rebecca' 1940: Joan Fontaine as the 'successor' and Judith Anderson as the creepy lesbian housekeeper, madly in love with her deceased mistress. 'Rebecca' 1940: Alfred Hitchcock Best Picture Oscar winner back on Brazilian screens Based on Daphne Du Maurier's 1938 novel, Alfred Hitchcock's first Hollywood movie, Rebecca (1940), has briefly returned to Brazilian screens in summer 2016. Since yesterday, Aug. 11, restored 2K digital copies of the Best Picture Academy Award winner starring Oscar nominees Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine are being presented in 12 Brazilian cities. Handled by the newly formed Celeste, an alternative film distribution company based in the northeastern city of Fortaleza, the screenings are scheduled to last at least one week. Among the cities showing Rebecca […]


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'Rebecca' 1940: Alfred Hitchcock Oscar Winner Returns to Brazilian Screens



'Money Monster' Review: Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty Ruin Jodie Foster Message Film

'Money Monster' with George Clooney and Jack O'Connell: TV celebrity and unwise investor/hostage taker. 'Money Monster' review: Jodie Foster movie suffers from both qualitative and intellectual disconnect Sometimes there's a difference between what a movie thinks it is and what it actually is. Usually it's a qualitative disconnect, as in “this movie thinks it's exciting but it's actually boring” or “this movie assumes Kevin Hart is funny when, in fact, he's not.” In the case of Money Monster, the divide is also an intellectual versus anti-intellectual one. The fourth film directed by Jodie Foster fancies itself a ripped from the headlines wail from the bottom of the economic ladder. A thriller-cum-exposé into how Wall Street and big media suckered average […]


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'Money Monster' Review: Plot Contrivances & Dishonesty Ruin Jodie Foster Message Film



William Cameron Menzies Movies: Murderous Joan Fontaine & Nazi Communists

William Cameron Menzies. William Cameron Menzies movies on TCM: Murderous Joan Fontaine, deadly Nazi Communists Best known as an art director/production designer, William Cameron Menzies was a jack-of-all-trades. It seems like the only things Menzies didn't do was act and tap dance in front of the camera. He designed and/or wrote, directed, produced, etc., dozens of films – titles ranged from The Thief of Bagdad to Invaders from Mars – from the late 1910s all the way to the mid-1950s. Among Menzies' most notable efforts as an art director/production designer are: Ernst Lubitsch's first Hollywood movie, the Mary Pickford star vehicle Rosita (1923). Herbert Brenon's British-set father-son drama Sorrell and Son (1927). David O. Selznick's mammoth production of Gone with […]


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William Cameron Menzies Movies: Murderous Joan Fontaine & Nazi Communists



'Black Swan' Movie Review: Natalie Portman 'Visceral' Downward Spiral

'Black Swan' movie with Natalie Portman: Distraught ballerina goes mad. 'Black Swan' movie review: Natalie Portman rises to challenge in 'most mature' Darren Aronofsky effort Darren Aronofsky has one of the most amazing talents for not only crafting impeccable works of fiction, but also for framing these works against the backdrop of worlds the average person will never be a part of. In Requiem for a Dream, he took a stylized and brutal eye to the dangerous world of drug addiction. In The Wrestler, he gave us a brilliant and tragic human story set in the world of professional wrestling. In Black Swan, he gave us the fascinating story of one person's psychological downward spiral within the world of professional […]


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'Black Swan' Movie Review: Natalie Portman 'Visceral' Downward Spiral



'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?

Joan Crawford in 'Mildred Pierce': Best Actress Oscar winner enjoyed a triumphant comeback. 'Mildred Pierce' 1945 movie review: Very entertaining 'soap opera' Time has a way of making some films seem grander than they really are. A good example is Mildred Pierce, the 1945 black-and-white melodrama directed by Casablanca's Michael Curtiz, and that won star Joan Crawford a Best Actress Oscar. Mildred Pierce is in no way, shape, or form great art, even though it's certainly not a bad film. In fact, as a soap opera it's quite entertaining – no, make that very entertaining; and entertainment is a quality that can stand on its own. (The problem in recent decades is that cinema has become nothing but entertainment.) In […]


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'Mildred Pierce' 1945: Joan Crawford 'Terrific' in Film Noir or Melodrama?



Coleen Gray: From Stanley Kubrick to 'The Leech Woman,' School Prayer Amendment Fight

Coleen Gray: Actress and film noir good girl went from Stanley Kubrick's 'The Killing' to 'The Leech Woman.' Coleen Gray: Actress in early Stanley Kubrick film noir, destroyer of men in cult horror 'classic' Actress Coleen Gray, best known as the leading lady in Stanley Kubrick's film noir The Killing and – as far as B horror movie aficionados are concerned – for playing the title role in The Leech Woman, died at age 92 in Aug. 2015. This two-part article, which focuses on Gray's film career, is a revised and expanded version of the original post published at the time of her death. Born Doris Bernice Jensen on Oct. 23, 1922, in Staplehurst, Nebraska, at a young age she […]


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Coleen Gray: From Stanley Kubrick to 'The Leech Woman,' School Prayer Amendment Fight





FILM ARCHIVES

Julie Andrews to Receive SAG Life Achievement Award
'A Passion' Movie Review: Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann in Ingmar Bergman Classic
'Embodiment of Evil' Images: Brazilian Horror
SAG Awards 2009: Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet, James Earl Jones
THE GODDESS Review - Kim Stanley John Cromwell
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson Kiss & 'Twilight' Marathon
1939 Best Picture Oscar Nominees: 'Gone with the Wind,' 'Goodbye Mr. Chips' and 'Love Affair' on TCM
'On the Road' Characters: Any Similarities Not a Mere Coincidence
Charles Durning Dies: Oscar-Nominated Actor
WORLD WAR Z 2 in the Works?
Oscar Trailer: Ellen DeGeneres in Groovy Paul Feig-Directed Musical Number
Best Documentary Short Oscar Contenders: Death and Illness Are Key Themes
Adolphe Menjou Movies: Old Hollywood's Low-Grade Urbane Charmer
Gael García Bernal 'Inner Transvestite,' Pedro Almodóvar vs. Catholic Church Bigotry
'Die Nibelungen' Movies': Powerful Women in Masterful, 'Otherworldly' Germanic Tragedy